A group designed to study the possibility of building a combined conference and civic center in Durango is thinking about forming a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization.
The designation would allow the Durango Arts/Cultural Working Group the freedom to supervise the construction of what would essentially be a public events facility.
City officials in Durango have long talked about the need for a single facility that would house conference space, civic activities, and even art events.
Those same officials earlier considered updating and re-purposing the 100 year-old main administrative building that belongs to the Durango School District.
That three-story brick structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but renovating the facility has since been regarded by officials as impractical, given its size and age.
Instead, a 4.6-acre site at the corner of W. College Drive and Camino del Rio, in the southwest corner of Durango’s downtown, currently seems to be the most likely location for the center.
As proposed, the new facility could include a 450-seat theater, a working kitchen, more than 3,000 square feet of event and meeting space, and a 6,000 square foot lobby.
The center, according to supporters, would also see the construction of a 450-space parking garage.
Altogether, the proposed project could cost as much as $47 million to build. On the plus side, it is thought that such a complex would generate up to $31 million in annual economic activity, including at least $1 million in local sales and lodgers’ tax revenue.
By Garry Boulard
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